Mali is 14th from the bottom on the UN Human Development Index, despite being Africa's third biggest gold exporter and a major cotton grower.

A woman collects her electoral card at a pooling station of Lafiabougou in Bamako, Mali July 23, 2018.
A woman collects her electoral card at a pooling station of Lafiabougou in Bamako, Mali July 23, 2018. (Reuters)

Tensions ahead of Mali's presidential election have lead to the killing of 17 people in the countries central Mopti region. 

Malians have begun voting on Sunday in a presidential election. 

It's expected to end six years of political unrest. 

A total of 24 candidates are in the race. 

That's including incumbent president Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, whose party the opposition fear may rig the polls. 

TRT World's Adesewa Josh reports.

All candidates have promised to reverse Mali's decline and help end pervasive poverty. 

Mali is 14th from the bottom on the UN Human Development Index, despite being Africa's third biggest gold exporter and a major cotton grower.

Eight million people are registered to vote, with polls opening at 8am (0800 GMT) and closing at six (1800 GMT).

Source: TRTWorld and agencies